Can you say: There was a freshness to his work
It somehow seems to be related to the expression:
There was something about his work ...
but then shouldn't it be
There was a freshness about his work
It's hard to look these expressions up because the dictionary doesn't tell you all the prepositions that a verb like to be can be used with...
Not only are both 'about' and 'to' grammatically correct but you could also say, 'There was a freshness in his work' as well.
There are minor differences in nuance in each of these sentences but which you choose is largely a matter of your personal speaking style.
As you are aware there are often many ways in English to say the same thing and still be grammatically correct. The best way to learn which are right and
which are not is by listening to the choices native speakers make and practicing what you hear in your own conversations.